I'm still posting from the farm, but this one is a little off-topic from farm fresh produce, county fairs, and canning adventures that usually fill my "posts from the farm". If you're enjoying those posts inspired by my time in rural Indiana, then hold onto your hats, because I've decided to extend my visit for another week! I put up 84 pounds of green beans yesterday and I'm shootin' to can some tomatoes next week, so stay tuned for more of my adventures in food preservation!
But today I want to talk about beer. Really good beer. Wisconsin beer. Not available here beer.
When I arrived at my parent's house last Friday night, my dad mentioned that he would be travelling to Wisconsin during the week and invited me along for the ride. I was tempted, but then I mentally listed all of the "stuff" I wanted to accomplish on my visit and didn't see how I could possibly squeeze in an overnight trip to Wisconsin. As I explained all of this to my dad, he broke into his default guilt trip song, "And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon, Little boy blue and the man in the moon...." I held my ground and stayed behind as he departed for Racine on Tuesday morning. Just like when I was a little and he'd take a trip without us, he arrived home with a souvenir to share late on Wednesday afternoon.
Okay, not just like when I was a little girl. Back then it was a t-shirt, a keychain, a rock.... This time Dad brought an assortment of beer from the New Glarus Brewery!
I've been a fan of New Glarus Brewery since 2007 when my dad's real estate and auction business first took him to Wisconsin and he brought back some Spotted Cow and Fat Squirrel for a family cookout.
Over the last couple of days I have worked my way through this sampler. Below you will find pictures of each bottle. I have also included the description of the beer as printed on each label. I'll throw in my 2 cents here and there too....
Before I get started, I should clarify that I am NOT a beer connoisseur. My taste in beer trends toward anything on sale with the word "Light" after the brand name. My knowledge of hops and barley and wheat are limited to a couple of brewery tours that I took years ago. When I read the description on the New Glarus Brewery website, "A naturally cloudy farmhouse ale" I was a little skeptical. Cloudy beer? Here's the description from the label:
Cask conditioned ale has been the popular choice among brews since long before prohibition. We continue this pioneer spirit with our Wisconsin farmhouse ale. Brewed with flaked barley and the finest Wisconsin malts. We even give a nod to our farmers with a little hint of corn.
Naturally cloudy we allow the yeast to remain in the bottle to enhance fullness of flavors, which cannot be duplicated otherwise. Expect this ale to be fun, fruity and satisfying. You know you're in Wisconsin when you see the Spotted Cow.
This is a good beer! Turns out that I didn't mind the yeast in the bottle at all.
One deceptively spring like winter day, Brewmaster Dan walked home from the brewery, sat down to dinner and said, "Boy, there are some fat squirrels out there. They're running all over the place. I think I should brew a Fat Squirrel Nut Brown Ale." Deb agreed and so another beer legend was born.
100% Wisconsin malt of six different varieties impart the natural toasted color to this bottle conditioned unfiltered ale. Clean hazelnut notes result from these carefully chosen barley malts. Hops from Slovenia, Bavaria and the Pacific Northwest give Fat Squirrel its backbone. When the going gets tough, remember to relax a moment and enjoy the "Fat Squirrel" in your neighborhood.
My husband really likes the Fat Squirrel.
This is Dan's bold creation. You hold the international marriage of a sophisticated Bavarian Hefeweiss and an assertive American Pale Ale. Amarillo dry hopping drives Wisconsin Red Wheat. Traditional open top fermentation cultivates our proprietary Bavarian Weiss yeast in our own Wheat Beer Cellars. Absolutely 100% natural bottle conditioned. This is a living beer.
Expect to pour a thick creamy head into your glass. Savor the fierce onslaught of clove, cinnamon, and citrus nose. Our very popular Imperial Weizen ratchets down for the session. Drink to adventure and friends in Wisconsin. We are the state of beer.
I drank this one "Blue Moon style" with an orange wedge. YUM!
If you dream of wheat this brew will get your toes tapping. Since 1995 we have brewed Bavarian style wheat beers exclusively for the same great state that grows and malts our own Wisconsin wheat. In a world full of posers this is a true hefe-weizen naturally 100% bottle fermented and hazy. Expect this beer to cascade effervescent into your glass. The rich spicy clove and cinnamon notes will greet your nose while sweet fruit and wheat kisses your lips.
Lick the foam from your mouth and admit sometimes you just gotta get up and dance.
This was the first bottle I cracked open. I loved the description...and as it turned out, this was one of my favorites in the group.
Moon Man is a seriously cool cat. Always comfortable in his own skin, he never tries too hard. So cool we named our "no coast" pale ale after him.
You hold a session beer with a bright bold blend of five hops that flirt obligingly with the smooth malty backside. Don't let this one lay around it is brewed to be enjoyed today. Bold and engaging without pretense, because in Wisconsin you do not have to be extreme to be real.
This just wasn't for me. I let my dad finish it for me. But don't write it off based on my opinion...my dad liked it.
Who is qualified to judge one's contribution? Is it the pure Wisconsin barley malt or shall credit be given to traditional German and English hops? Maybe it is the Belgian Monastic yeast or the Brewer's tender care? Combined, this is a sophisticated Abbey style ale. Both elegant and drinkable this ale is cleanly aromatic with spicy notes of clove and ginger. Crisp and fragrant up front while gracefully sliding into warm malt notes at the finish.
Fermented naturally in the bottle, this beer is a living testament to the value of many working together to create something bigger than the individual parts. Moving a mountain begins with a single stone.
I really like this one too! It tasted just like you would expect it to from the description.
Pure and crisp this is a beer with nothing to hide. Wisconsin two-row barley malt ensures a mellow and smooth body. We imported Noble Hop varieties from Germany and the Czech Republic to ensure a fine mature aroma with no coarse bitterness.
Expect this beer to pour a delicate golden hue that sparkles in the summer sun. This lager is brewed using all natural ingredients with no artificial additives of any kind. Kick back, relax and enjoy the simple unadorned flavor. This is beer at its most basic.
Loved the Totally Naked! Maybe this isn't a good thing, but this is a beer that you could drink ALL NIGHT LONG! Very nice. : )
My beer drinking readers are probably wondering where they can get their hands on some of this beer. Well...unless you're reading this from Wisconsin, you can't. New Glarus Brewery products are only sold in Wisconsin. You can go to their website and view the beer, but don't bother trying to order...they're not permitted to ship it out of Wisconsin. Sorry for the tease.
My advice: Plan a trip. It's pretty up there. And stock up on some brew on your visit. Bring some home. There's no law against driving it (un-opened, of course) across state lines. At least I hope not, or I've just incriminated my father.
Have a great weekend everyone...and if you're drinking, please do so responsibly ; )